Victor Bout, Rich B, GWOT, Pakistan and Much More – Additions as of April 5, 2008

This week was a very busy week for the 9/11 Timeline, and dozens of new entries were published. New material, and a new chapter, has been added to cover superstar arms dealer Victor Bout, who was assisted by a former US intelligence officer, was known to the CIA as supplier to the Taliban and al-Qaeda before 9/11, and is said to have transported heroin out of Afghanistan. He sold aircraft to the Taliban and the US created a team of catch him in 1999, but the Bush administration lost interest in apprehending him. Instead, he was hired to help US in Iraq, not once, but repeatedly. Whilst supporting the US in Iraq, he also supported Islamic militants in Somalia and Hezbollah, but was finally arrested last month.

CIA manager Rich B's position seems to have been upgraded in early 2000, he knew that there would be a big attack before 9/11 and that 9/11 hijacker Khalid Almihdhar would probably be involved, but seems to have taken no action based on this information, even when he received news of Ahmed Shah Massoud's killing just before 9/11. FBI agents later said that officers at the CIA's bin Laden unit had "blood on their hands" and accused one of them of lying to the Congressional Inquiry. In 2007, Rich B was said to be the son of a controversial former CIA officer, possibly Bay of Pigs architect Richard Bissell Jr.

In the GWOT (Global War on Terror), a Predator drone killed one of the many unfortunates alleged to be al-Qaeda's number three leader in 2005, and Pakistan gave the US permission to launch more attacks in January 2008. Subsequently, a whole bunch of people got killed.

The Iraq War crippled US intelligence operations around the world and used up so many resources the US was unable to strike an al-Qaeda target in Yemen in 2003 because everything was in Iraq, but at least US troops found a bunch of forged documents purportedly linking al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein in Baghdad.

How many operatives does al-Qaeda have anyway and how is it doing? The US claimed that 2,700 al-Qaeda operatives had been captured in 2002, although there were only about one thousand of them on 9/11, and Donald Rumsfeld was not sure whether the US was creating more militants than is was capturing. Both President Bush and Vice President Cheney said the Iraq war was crucial to winning the "War on Terror," but the Pentagon found the US was fueling Islamic militancy by propping up dictators in the Middle East. President Bush said al-Qaeda's leadership had been dismantled in 2003 and that the organization was on the run in 2006, but the number of militants kept increasing and, although it only had a core of about two hundred operatives in 2007, it had rebuilt itself in Pakistan's tribal region.

A mysterious al-Qaeda leader was captured in Pakistan in 2002, Bush downplayed the Afghan War as the invasion of Iraq drew near, and top US officials wanted to attack Iraq to set an example to countries thinking about defying US domination.

In Pakistan, the ISI and Osama bin Laden plotted to assassinate Benazir Bhutto in 1989, the US Congress failed to fund a plan to strengthen government control of Pakistan's tribal region, and the US was reluctant to act against a Pakistan charity front for terrorism, because it was associated with Pervez Musharraf. Obviously, US aid to Pakistan skyrocketed after 9/11, but the Pakistani government granted the Taliban a safe haven in 2006.

In Kosovo, the militants were funded by al-Qaeda and Afghan drugs, but the CIA worked with them anyway, and no action was taken against a leading al-Qaeda figure linked to a raided safe house in Kosovo.

Continuing the Italian theme of recent weeks, a Milan mosque was al-Qaeda's main station house in Europe, a CIA informer arrived in Rome in 1997, and extensive wiretaps helped expose an Italian cell with foreknowledge of 9/11. One of the people involved was a Yemeni government official who purchased passport forgery equipment for militants, but was kidnapped by the CIA in 2002.

Despite what the Washington Post would have you believe, there are lots of informants on al-Qaeda. For example, there were over a hundred CIA assets in Afghanistan before 9/11, and there was an increasing number of informants a year later.

One such informer was Abdelkader Belliraj, who was hired by the Belgian government in 2000. He met al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri and linked his group of al-Qaeda in 2001, later providing information that prevented a bombing in Britain. Moroccan police raided his group in February, and his status as an informant was then revealed.

There are numerous miscellaneous entries. Osama bin Laden's first interview with the western press in 1993 was given to Robert Fisk, a future embassy bomber was photographed at an al-Qaeda press conference, and the CIA discussed bin Laden's fate with a top Taliban leader shortly after 9/11. A Texas arrest indicated a link between bin Laden and the 1993 WTC bombers, Lee Hamilton unsurprisingly failed to distinguish himself during Iran-Contra, and Zacarias Moussaoui fought in Chechnya.

The CIA's first covert teams entered Afghanistan on September 27, 2001, President Clinton was warned about an increased risk of an al-Qaeda attack in late 2000, and only 500 US fighters took part in the war against the Taliban. There were more troops in Afghanistan, but they remained at their bases. Finally, bin Laden, al-Zawahiri and the Muslim Brotherhood benefitted from the collapse of BCCI, al-Qaeda revived its Bosnian connections through a Saudi charity and, the same day Richard Clarke gave his bombshell testimony to the 9/11 Commission, there was a vague terror alert.

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I realize that you do a tremendous amount of work, but I have a big question.

When you claim everything above is true, as a statement of fact, are you vetting all the information and corroborating it from many sources?

It seems that you are just taking single news items and calliing it a fact, even though it could be just a claim by an interested source, repeated by a news organization. In other words, how do we assess the veracity of all these claims? Are you just compiling lists, or do you exercise some degree of corroboration and investigation?

70 Disturbing Facts About 9/11

John Doraemi publishes Crimes of the State Blog

johndoraemi --at--